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What Happens at A Deportation Hearing?
If you have been served a notice to appear for a deportation hearing, it means that the Department of Homeland Security is attempting to remove you from the United States and send you back home to your country of origin. Just because you have been served a notice to appear does not mean that you will be automatically deported, because you have a legal right to defend yourself and hire an immigration attorney to help you.
These meetings will happen over a series of months as the United States has a lot of deportation cases to handle. At the first meeting, the state will determine that you have been served with a notice to appear, and then you will be asked to either admit or deny the various charges listed in the notice to appear. This is referred to as taking a pleading. Based on your answer to this question, and your situation, a number of different outcomes can occur, which is why having a deportation defense attorney is so important.
What does a deportation defense attorney do?
For individuals who have been served a notice of a deportation hearing, it may feel that you have nobody to turn to in this time of need. Deportation hearings can be a long, strenuous, and scary process, and a deportation defense attorney helps to represent and advocate for immigrants facing deportation.
A notice for a hearing of deportation means that you have the legal right to defend yourself and stop the process of deportation. An attorney can greatly increase your chance of getting a positive outcome.
A defense attorney will help you to gather documentation, file the correct forms, represent you in court, and find resources that could help you or find alternative paths to residency and citizenship for you to remain in America legally. Attorneys help their clients battle deportation in a number of ways, including a cancellation of removal order, adjusting their client’s status to address unlawful presence, file waivers or appeals, or help you to apply for asylum.
Do I need a deportation defense attorney?
Immigration and deportation can be a long and confusing process. It is extremely helpful to have an attorney who will be able to represent you in court and who understands the American legal system on your side. In some cases, having an attorney could make all the difference between deportation and residency in America. The current political system in America is making it increasingly difficult for immigrants to fight deportation, and having an attorney can help.
In many cases it may be better to play it safe. Even if you are not entirely sure that you need a defense attorney, it may be better to contact one for advice just to be sure that you are moving in the right direction.
How can I contact one?
Immigration law is a quickly growing area of practice, and as a result, there are more immigration attorneys than ever. To contact a lawyer, one can search the internet, phone books, or contact friends and family who have connections to the legal field.
When you have found an attorney who is near you and you feel that you want to hire, you can call them to set up an intake appointment. At this appointment you will be able to tell your side of the story to the attorney, and together you will begin to prepare a defense. It is very important that when you come to this intake meeting that you bring your summons to a deportation hearing, as well as any and all legal documentation you have for yourself, including birth certificates, diplomas, visas, pay stubs, driver’s licenses, bills, pay stubs, etc. These documents will help the lawyer to build your case. The more you have with you on the day of your intake, the better picture the lawyer can see on how to help you with your case.
It is important to contact an immigration attorney as soon as possible to help you with your case. The sooner your attorney is on board, the more time they have to help you prepare your case. Typically an attorney should be hired as soon as you receive your notice to appear.
Can I trust that an attorney will have my best interests at heart?
A deportation defense attorney does not represent the government, but rather represents you as their client. They have taken an oath to protect your rights under United States law and the Constitution. They will represent you and your best interests and will argue for you to be allowed to remain in the country and can even help you to find a path to citizenship.
All lawyers follow a rule called client confidentiality. A lawyer cannot repeat things you have told him in the privacy of your own meetings if it will harm you. They cannot repeat things or talk to other providers without your express consent and permission. Even if you do not hire a particular lawyer, they cannot use anything you tell them in your intake meeting to hurt you or your defense claim.
How will I pay for one?
Legal help can be expensive, but the outcome may very well be worth the cost. Many lawyers charge one flat rate for help on immigration cases, as they know that their clients may be on a tight budget. The fees and method of payment will all vary from lawyer to lawyer, and a client is advised to ask about payment while contacting attorneys to decide on the best representation for themselves.
There are also several low-cost services from charitable organizations that help immigrants and refugees pay for legal services.
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